• Ten Innings at Wrigley

  • The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink
  • By: Kevin Cook
  • Narrated by: Barry Abrams
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Ten Innings at Wrigley

By: Kevin Cook
Narrated by: Barry Abrams
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Publisher's Summary

It was a Thursday at Chicago's Wrigley Field, mostly sunny with the wind blowing out. Nobody expected an afternoon game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs on May 17, 1979, to be much more than a lazy early-season contest matching two teams heading in opposite directions - the first-place Phillies and the Cubs, those lovable losers - until they combined for 13 runs in the first inning. "The craziest game ever," one player called it. "And then the second inning started."

Ten Innings at Wrigley is Kevin Cook's vivid account of a game that could only have happened at this ballpark, in this era, with this colorful cast of heroes and heels: Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Bruce Sutter, surly slugger Dave Kingman, hustler Pete Rose, unlucky Bill Buckner, scarred Vietnam vet Garry Maddox, troubled relief pitcher Donnie Moore, clubhouse jester Tug McGraw, and two managers pulling out what was left of their hair.

It was the highest-scoring ballgame in a century, and much more than that. Bringing to life the run-up and aftermath of a contest the New York Times called "the wildest in modern history," Cook reveals the human stories behind the game-and how money, muscles and modern statistics were about to change baseball forever.

©2019 Kevin Cook (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Ten Innings at Wrigley

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The Baseball stars of my youth

If you were a baseball fan in the 1970s, this one is for you. It’s about a 1979 10 inning game between the Phillies and the Cubs in Wrigley with the wind blowing out. The Phillies won 23-22 in the highest scoring game in modern history. The main reason I picked it up was Pete Rose was on that Phillies team and I grew up a huge Rose fan. The book took a different tact from most sports books that are focused on a single game. The normal formula is to start out with mini biographies of the main characters to set the stage and then go through the game in question in detail. This one started out with histories of the two franchises, went through the game and then provided details of the rest of the lives of the main participants. I enjoyed hearing about Rose, but for the most part it was stuff I’d heard before. The author did devote a lot of time to Tug McGraw, a Phillies pitcher. I think this was in large part due to the fame of his son, Tim. I know who Tim is and I knew he was Tug’s son, but I wasn’t enough of a fan to know any of the details. For example, Tug had a fling with Tim’s mother on the road and didn’t know he had a son until 11 years later. I knew Tug died of brain cancer, but I didn’t know that Tim wrote Live Like You Were Dying in honor of Tug. Another tidbit I found very interesting was about a contract that Bruce Sutter signed with the Braves in 1985. Sutter was a pitcher for the Cubs in this game, but moved around through the league after. The contract was for $9.1 million for 6 years, but payment was deferred until 2022. However, Sutter was paid $750k per year in interest for the first six years and then a guaranteed minimum of $1.12 million per year in interest for the next 30 years before finally getting a lump sum of $9.1 million in 2022. So a total of $47.2 million for a six year contract in an era where a million a year put a player at the very top of the league. In my youth, my hero in this book would have been Rose. As a lawyer reading this book, my hero is the lawyer who negotiated that deal!!!

I enjoyed the book because it is from the period from my youth when I was a huge baseball fan, so I was familiar with all the main characters. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it if it was from a different time period and I didn’t know the players as well. The narrator was a good one who has done other sports books I’ve listened to, so overall it was a pleasant listen.

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As a Phillies fan, I loved this book.

I loved how this book broke down the Phillies and the Cubs history, the crazy game they played at Wrigley and the main players that were involved. Learned so much.

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Outstanding

The book reads like a baseball game and then goes further than I expected into the lives of everyone involved with that game. Great book.

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Great Look in the 70’s Baseball

I really enjoyed listening to this book. The author does a great job of chronicling what happened before that amazing game and then follows up the careers of some of the players and franchises. Really great ride!